South Asia Bike-Ride 5th-November-2016

Cycling The Tribhuvan Highway Part 2

Garry McGivern’s South Asia bike-ride, Saturday, 5th-November-2016 Nepal. Hetauda to somewhere on the Tribhuvan Highway. 30 miles. Well, there was no putting it off. I had to leave the hotel and head up the Tribhuvan Highway. I found out last night that’s the name of the shorter route to Kathmandu. And despite all the dire warnings about the state of the road, I thought seventy miles has got to be better than two hundred.

After eating two omelettes for breakfast, I couldn’t put it off any longer and had to get moving! And left the hotel; as I left, the staff told me not to go that way, saying, “The road is non-existent, there are rocks and potholes everywhere, it’s too steep to cycle, you’ll have to carry your bike, it’s so bad! And with all these warnings ringing in my ears, I left. The uphill part I can cope with. It’s the off-road cycling I struggle with these days. It jars my back! And because my walking isn’t so good these days, I’m a bit more cautious! Whereas in the past, I wouldn’t have given it a second thought! I’d have just gone for it!

Mountains in the distance
The ominous mountains in my way

I can’t deny that I was a little concerned as I cycled up the road and stopped at the junction where the road turned to the left, the longer route to Kathmandu. I wondered if maybe I should listen to what people were saying and take the longer route. The only thing that gave me a bit of hope was that small vehicles were coming down the Tribhuvan Highway. So it couldn’t be that bad, could it?

Twisting roads
One of the many twisting roads
What a Relief

Anyway, my fears of a rough road proved totally unfounded. The surface was as good as any I’ve had over the past few weeks! But boy, it’s been hard work. I’ve been going uphill constantly right from the get-go this morning! As I started the day, the mountains dominated the skyline in front of me, but as the day went on, I was slowly but surely beginning to look down on them!

Garry McGivern with some local Nepalese people
Meeting people on the Tribhuvan Highway
Twisting roads on the Tribhuvan highway
More twisting roads that I’d come up

Not too sure where I am tonight. I just had to stop, as it was getting dark! For all I know, there might be a village just around the corner, but that corner is still going uphill. I think I saw a sign saying the next village was 6km away, but it’s just too far! If it were light, I would have carried on but not in the dark it’s too scary with the way they drive around here! I’d been looking for somewhere to stop for the past hour or two. But there’s nowhere to pitch a tent. On one side of the road, it’s a rock face. On the other, it’s a drop of several hundred feet! So when I turned the corner and came across this small flat piece of land on the apex of a corner, I just had to stop!

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4 Replies to “South Asia Bike-Ride 5th-November-2016”

    1. I don’t think I’m the first person to do it and I’m pretty sure I won’t be the last, there are probably plenty of other idiots who would do the same thing!

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